Toddler Girl Coats & Jackets: Synthetic vs Down Insulation – Which Is Better?

Say goodbye to warm, sunny weather and get your little girls ready for the winter months ahead. For many parents, it’s time to get their kids all the winter gear they need before winter is totally here. Easily, coats and jackets are some of the most in-demand winter gear.  

Choosing the right toddler girl winter coats is not just about how warm it keeps your little ones and how cool it makes them feel, as it may come down to the right type of insulation. In fact, synthetic and down insulation are the main types of fills when it comes to winter coats and jackets. Each has its pros and cons, related to factors such as warmth, versatility, durability, and price.

To help you choose which option is right for your little girls, we have highlighted the benefits and drawbacks of down and synthetic fills in the section below. 

Synthetic Insulation

Toddler Girl Coats & Jackets: Synthetic vs Down Insulation - Which Is Better?

Synthetic insulation has the upper hand when compared to the traditional down fill in the fact that it can keep you warm, even when it gets wet. And thanks to the nature of the polyester fibres used to make this filling, they also are easier to dry and can insulate even if wet. If your little girl happens to damage her coat while playing, synthetic is far less likely to leak out of the coat as down tends to do. These coats are more resilient as a combination of the face fabric and the insulation and can be patched up relatively easily without losing any fibres.

Synthetic coats are also hypo-allergenic, so you won’t have to worry about itchy skin or teary eyes on your toddler girl when they wear one of these coats.

Since synthetic is manufactured manually, there is less time invested in the product, and it can be made for a cheaper cost. Therefore, the prices of synthetic coats are considerably less compared to a down-insulated one. 

Maintaining a synthetic coat is incredibly easy as well. This kind of fill can withstand more intense detergents and is easier to return to a dry standard. In fact, it sometimes takes just a few hours to get back to normal.

Synthetic insulation is simply unable to compete with down in terms of weight-to-warmth ratio. Synthetic fibres simply cannot overlap as effectively as their down counterparts do, therefore failing to create the clusters which retain warm air. This, in turn, means they tend to be heavier and bulkier than down coats and can be more difficult to pack down. 

Synthetic fibres aren’t as durable as down and will eventually break down over time. With proper care, a down coat can last for decades, fully retaining its lofting properties. 

Pros

  • Very water-resistant 
  • Insulate even when wet
  • More eco-friendly than down
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cheaper than down insulation

Cons

  • Heavier and bulkier than down insulation
  • Lower warm-to-weight ratio than down
  • Less durable than down

Down Insulation

Toddler Girl Coats & Jackets: Synthetic vs Down Insulation - Which Is Better?

Down insulation is the plumage found underneath the exterior feathers of waterfowl such as geese and ducks. It consists of soft, warm, and fluffy filaments. They are excellent at retaining heat as the loft from the feathers traps warm air in tiny pockets and spreads it across the body.

Down is rated by “Fill power”. For beginners, fill power indicates how many cubic inches per 1 oz of down can cram inside a lab container. This stat can range from 450 to 900, with 900 being the warmest, lightest, and most expensive. A fill power rating is directly related to the quality of the down it represents. The higher the fill power, the better the down will insulate because there is less chance of cold spots forming.


Coats that use down insulation can achieve a higher fill power rating and thus a higher level of warmth. Moreover, a high fill power coat also means that it needs fewer filaments to achieve a certain level of heat. In other words, they are less bulkier and far more packable than their synthetic counterparts.

The most significant disadvantage of down insulation is that it clumps up and loses loft when wet, thereby losing its insulation properties. Within the last few years, DownTek technologies have evolved to improve the water repellent of down. The improved down can resist moisture better without compromising its loft. However, if submerged in water or exposed to heavy rain, even an enhanced down fill will still get wet. 

Taking care of a puffy down coat requires a little more care than a synthetic one. When washing, most down coats will need a specific detergent and water temperature to avoid harming the insulation layer. As down fill originates from birds, there is a slight chance it will cause allergies in some children. You need to keep this in mind when shopping for a down coat for your little ones, especially if somebody in your family also has this kind of allergy.

Pros

  • Higher fill power, therefore trapping warmth better.
  • Higher warmth-to-weight ratio than synthetic insulation
  • High compressibility
  • Extremely high durability.

Cons

  • Lose insulating power when getting wet 
  • Require a long time to dry
  • Need special care when cleaning
  • Not hypoallergenic (rarely an issue)
  • More expensive than synthetics

Down/Synthetic Blends

Toddler Girl Coats & Jackets: Synthetic vs Down Insulation - Which Is Better?

Many manufacturers nowadays make toddler girl coats and jackets with a combination of water-resistant down and synthetic insulation. This hybrid construction can provide the benefits of both materials while limiting each material’s imperfections.

Pros

  • Lighter weight and more compressible than synthetic alone
  • More water-resistant than down alone
  • Less expensive than down alone

Cons

  • Heavier and bulkier than down alone
  • Less water-resistant than synthetic alone
  • More expensive than synthetic alone

The Verdict

There is no correct answer to this question. Think about your climate, where your toddler girl is going, whether she needs a lightweight or heavy-warm coat, and how much money you’re willing to spend. Down can retain more warmth, so it’s more suitable than synthetic insulation for icy conditions. Meanwhile, synthetic keeps you warm in various states, including cold and wet environments, and it’s cost-effective.

Synthetic InsulationDown Insulation
WeightHeavyLight
Warm levelHighHigher
Water-resilientYesNo
Dry timeShortLong
Caring requirementsEasyHard
DurabilityDecentVery High
CompressibilityLowHigh
Eco-friendlyHighLow
Hypoallergenic NoYes
PriceCheaperMore Expensive

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